Tourism is a sector of global significance, and it is important to understand the positive and negative impacts it can have on societies and the environment. A range of economic indicators are already collected at a global scale and by a range of organisations. The Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard provides a broader insight into how the sector is contributing to key sustainability goals. High-level monitoring will help assess areas of strength and those that require improvement. Reliable long-term data will also allow evaluation of the effectiveness of the actions being taken to mitigate impacts.

Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals

The global community through its United Nations bodies has agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Tourism is explicitly mentioned in Goals 8, 12, and 14, but can also make important contributions to the other Goals. Considering tourism’s strong growth and its increasing importance in developing countries it is timely to develop a mechanism that helps measure tourism’s trajectory along key SDGs. Goal 13 supports the recently ratified Paris Agreement. The tourism sector plays a key role to achieve the aim of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees. Tourism is also part of strengthening resilience and adapting to climate change.

Our Vision

  • Promote action and change within the tourism sector.
  • Bring about more awareness through transparency of data and key insights that can be drawn from long-term monitoring.
  • Show leadership and demonstrate how partnerships between Universities and key sector stakeholders can lead to sustainable outcomes.

Project Team

Griffith Institute for Tourism

Griffith University is a top ranking University based in South East Queensland, Australia. Griffith University hosts the Griffith Institute for Tourism, a world-leading institute for quality research into tourism. Through its activities and an external Advisory Board, the Institute links university-based researchers with the business sector and organisations, as well as local, state and federal government bodies.

University of Surrey

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey is consistently ranked as the number one school of tourism and hospitality management in the UK by the Guardian, Times and Independent University Guides. The School placed consistently in the top three Universities in the world for tourism scholarship on assessments of research outputs and quality of tourism staff. It is known for leading research into the social sciences of tourism.

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Project Background

The Dashboard builds on data provided through the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council as well as other organisations, and incorporates knowledge from established initiatives such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the European Tourism Indicator System. The Dashboard incorporates a set of indicators that provide valuable information on progress against the Sustainable Development Goals. Information provided through the Dashboard also aligns with the United Nations 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the 10YFP.

The current indicators have been developed in partnership with sector leaders and key organisations, and participants to two expert workshops. The Dashboard will evolve over time with more indicators being developed as gaps are identified by stakeholders, and as more data sources become available.

For a technical report that details the methodologies and findings for the 2016 Dashboard, please click here.


Professor Susanne Becken: Dr. Susanne Becken is a Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University and Director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism(GIFT) and a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Advisory Panel. Susanne is a tourism expert who researches the challenges of facilitating business and community prosperity, whilst minimising resource use and environmental or social impacts. Her research, which is published in more than 100 journal papers, reports and books, is widely cited by academics around the world, and has also influenced government policy and industry practice.

Learn more about Professor Susanne Becken

Professor Graham Miller: Prof. Graham Miller is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey. The faculty comprises nearly 500 staff and over 6000 students. Prof. Miller is currently co-editor of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, the lead judge for the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow awards, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for the Future of Travel and Tourism.

Learn more about Professor Graham Miller